Mary Irvine

Mary Irvine has extensive federal government experience and a long record as a senior-level leader in the non-profit, PAC, campaign, and advocacy arenas.

As a consultant for foundations such as the Wyss Campaign for Nature and The Atlantic Philanthropies and The Atlantic Foundation, Irvine provided strategic assistance, with a special emphasis on media and advocacy training. Irvine also was Executive Director for Legit Action Inc. (501c4 non-profit) and LegitPAC (a federally-registered PAC) which advocated for a legitimate democracy and supported like-minded candidates for office. She was Chair of the non-profit group, Progressives United, a 501c4 with a federal PAC arm, which was dedicated to highlighting over-reaches of corporate power and electing progressive candidates to office.

For nearly two decades, Irvine was Chief of Staff to United States Senator from Wisconsin Russ Feingold, a member of the Judiciary, Foreign Relations, Budget and Intelligence Committees and a national progressive leader. Irvine was Chief of Staff on 9-11 and during the anthrax attacks of October 2001 and also played significant volunteer and staff roles in four of Senator Russ Feingold’s U.S. Senate campaigns. She was Chief of Staff for Feingold in the U.S. State Department when he served as Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Irvine earned her Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree from Colorado College and holds a Master's degree in Political Science with emphasis in American Government from Villanova University.

Russ Feingold

Russ Feingold is the President of the American Constitution Society. He served as a United States Senator from Wisconsin from 1993 to 2011 and a Wisconsin State Senator from 1983 to 1993. From 2013 to 2015, he served as the United States Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

During his 18 years in the United States Senate, Russ was ranked 6th in the Senate for bipartisan voting. He is a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award and cosponsored the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold Act), the only major piece of campaign finance reform legislation passed into law in decades. Russ was the only Senator to vote against the initial enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act during the first vote on the legislation and was well-known for his opposition to the Iraq War and as the Senate's leading opponent of the death penalty. He served on the Judiciary, Foreign Relations, Budget, and Intelligence Committees. Russ was Chairman or Ranking Member of the Constitution Subcommittee.

For the better part of the last 10 years and in addition to his congressional and diplomatic career, Russ has taught extensively at various American law schools including Stanford Law School (where he is currently teaching), Yale Law School, Marquette University Law School, and Harvard Law School. In this capacity, he has played a significant mentoring role to law students, preparing him for his role as President of the American Constitution Society. He has also taught foreign policy to graduate and undergraduate students at Stanford University, University of Wisconsin, Yale University, Lawrence University, and American University.

Russ is the Honorary Ambassador for the Campaign for Nature which is a global effort calling on policymakers to commit to address the growing biodiversity crisis. The Campaign seeks a science-driven, ambitious new deal for nature at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China, in 2021.

He is the author of While America Sleeps: A Wake-Up Call for the Post-9/11 Era and contributes regularly to various publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. He appears frequently on MSNBC and CNN. Russ holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar), and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, all degrees awarded with honors.

 

Zinelle October

Zinelle October joined ACS in November 2010 and currently serves as the Executive Vice President. She oversees and strengthens the work of the lawyer and law student chapters, the ACS State Attorneys General project, and ACS's pro bono and volunteer projects. She facilitates the connection of members with ACS's substantive initiatives.

Before joining ACS, October was a national urban fellow at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund. Before her fellowship, October practiced law for six years at firms in Florida and New York.

October currently serves as a board member of the Society of American Law Teachers and is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, National Bar Association, and Women’s Bar Association of Washington D.C..

October received her J.D. from Florida State University, her M.P.A. from Baruch College, and her B.A. in history from Columbia University. While in law school, she was a member of the Journal of Transnational Law & Policy, Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law and the Student Supreme Court.